Message from Fr. Peter Andronache
When the Theotokos fell asleep in the Lord, the disciples were miraculously gathered together at her side. The story goes that they listened to her as she talked about her Son and were together in prayer as the time of her departure from this life drew near. This gathering was not against the apostles’ will. On the contrary, the one apostle who was not present, St. Thomas, was upset at being absent from such an important and emotional event. In his sorrow, he asked to go to the grave of the Theotokos and have it opened for him so that he might venerate the body within which the Lord had been encompassed. To his surprise the body was gone.
The gathering of the apostles tells us on one hand the important role the Theotokos continued to play in the early Church and on the other the depth of the connection of love between the Theotokos and the apostles. I think their devotion to the Theotokos is a two-fold example for us. First, our devotion to the Mother of God should be as fervent and we should ask for her help, as she is quick to hear and ready to entreat her Son on our behalf. Second, the spiritual connection between the Theotokos and the apostles was stronger than any other bond the apostles had in their lives. Their common dedication to serving God and becoming as He is had created such a connection. I pray that our dedication to the journey of the kingdom may create such bonds among us, as well.
With love in Christ,